Hillock NT, Merlin TL, Turnidge J, Karnon J.
Due to the increasing threat to public health and the economy, governments internationally are interested in models to estimate the future clinical and economic burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of interventions to prevent or control resistance and to inform resource-allocation decision making. A widely cited UK report estimated that 10 million additional deaths will occur globally per annum due to AMR by 2050; however, the utility and accuracy of this prediction has been challenged. The precision of models predicting the future economic burden of AMR is dependent upon the accuracy of predicting future resistance rates. This paper reviews the feasibility and value of modelling to inform policy and resource allocation to manage and curb AMR. Here we describe methods used to estimate future resistance in published burden-of-disease models; the sources of uncertainty are highlighted, which could potentially mislead policy decision-making. While broad assumptions can be made regarding some predictable factors contributing to future resistance rates, the unexpected emergence, establishment and spread of new resistance genes introduces substantial uncertainty into estimates of future economic burden, and in models evaluating the effectiveness of interventions or policies to address AMR. Existing reporting standards for best practice in modelling should be adapted to guide the reporting of AMR economic models, to ensure model transparency and validation for interpretation by policymakers.